On Thursday, two bouts were officially added to the UFC’s return to Manitoba.
Veteran light heavyweight Antonio Rogerio Nogueira will take on Jared Cannonier, while Italy’s Alessio Di Chirico faces Oluwale “The Holy War Angel” Bamgbose in middleweight action, at UFC on FOX 26 which is scheduled for the Bell MTS Place in Winnipeg on Dec. 16.
This will be the Octagon’s second visit to Winnipeg and its first in over four years. Back in June 2013, the then-MTS Centre played host to UFC 161, a card headlined by Rashad Evans and Dan Henderson in the main event, and Stipe Miocic and Roy Nelson in the co-main.
A main event has not been announced for the Dec. 16 card.
Nogueira is looking to break out of a slump that has seen him lose three of his last four fights, including a third-round TKO loss in his most recent outing against Ryan Bader. The 41-year-old Brazilian has a 22-8 professional record.
In Cannonier, “Minotouro” draws an opponent who is considerably less experienced, but who is emerging as a legitimate talent at 205 pounds. Cannonier defeated Nick Roehrick by third-round TKO in July to improve to 2-1 as a light heavyweight in the UFC.
Di Chirico was forced out of a July meeting opposite Rafael Natal due to an injury and when he steps into the cage with Bamgbose, it will be his first fight since January. He joined the UFC last April with a 9-0 record, but his only victory in three appearances for the promotion has been a split decision over Garreth McLellan at UFC on FOX 21.
Bamgbose has lost two straight and is just 1-3 in the UFC. He defeated Daniel Sarafian with a spectacular 60-second head kick KO last February before suffering consecutive losses at the hands of Cezar Ferreira and Paulo Borrachinha.